Punta Pitt, San Cristobal

Jan 25, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II


The beach at Punta Pitt this morning, is made out of incredibly soft green sand, the result of eroded particles of the hardest crystals and minerals that make a lava flow. The little olivine beach transported us to an enchanted kingdom, which was completely surreal; the glittered sparkles of crystals surely must be the result of a fairy flying around here…  At the end of the trail,  a small colony of red-footed boobies surprised us, birds facing the difficult conditions of the season were patiently taking care of the single chick in their nests. Perching by itself on an solitary branch, we found one fully grown adult with red feet that just had to be photographed.

San Cristobal is one of the very old islands of the Galapagos group, and places like Punta Pitt are quite common in this landscape, made up predominantly of volcanic ash or tuff. As we walked up throughout the canyon, we were amazed at how these magnificent formations had formed, all because of one volcanic event. The meeting of the hot boiling lava with the cold temperatures of the ocean produces steam that eventually compacts upwards, making layers and layers of material that would eventually erode and make the sand of the nearby beaches. 

Cerro Brujo in the afternoon was just the best way to end the trekking on these islands. We spent time on the beautiful white coralline beach, relaxing with sea lions and taking in the sounds and sights of this pristine place. Now it is time for us to go home, having witnessed why humankind needs to keep this place safe and protected. It is one of the last paradises on Earth, and we hope to preserve it for many generations to come.

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About the Author

Ximena Cordova

Naturalist

Ximena was born in Cuenca, the third largest city of Ecuador. Located in the Andes Mountains, Cuenca is known as the cultural capital of Ecuador and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Trust site because of its many historical buildings. Ximena gained experience with American culture as an exchange student in Santa Barbara, CA, and later, while living and working at the United Nations in New York City for four and a half years.

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